After the cold, bleak winter spring seems to arrive suddenly. The first green shoots on Chinese elms are the heralds then, suddenly, everywhere is new life and color.
Late winter and early spring sees an ever changing pallette of color as flowers come and go. Prunus are some of the first quickly followed by forsythia, crab apples and azaleas. If you happen to have a green thumb you may even be able to get wisteria to flower reliably as a bonsai
Shibui Bonsai has an ever changing list of flowering trees suitable for bonsai. Email Neil to see if I have the one you are searching for. Please don’t ask if you can buy the trees pictured above. They are all from my personal collection and hold far more sentimental value than monetary. I do, however, offer younger stock at reasonable prices, some already at flowering age and size.
Azaleas also make great bonsai if your conditions are right. At my last property something was just not quite right and azaleas slowly deteriorated over several years until they died. Moving just a few Km saw a miraculous change and now they thrive under similar care. I cannot work out the details, just that it is so.
Azaleas have been grown by gardeners all round the world for many years so we now have a bewildering array of types with a wide range of flower colors and shapes. Here are a few from Shibui Bonsai nursery this month.
Azaleas transplant really easily. It is one of my favorite species for collecting from gardens as they seem to transplant successfully any month of the year. Don’t bother trying to retain a large root ball – azaleas don’t need it. Shake off as much garden soil as will come away without undue damage to the roots, cut damaged roots to fit the container and pot with good quality potting soil or your favorite bonsai mix, water well and place in a semi-shade area until the roots recover.
Azaleas will also grow new buds on old wood so taller stems can be chopped hard with confidence knowing masses of new shoots will usually appear all over the stumps. i currently have some quite large collected azaleas for sale. Most are planted in large polystyrene fruit boxes and are too big to post but there are also a few in 15, 20 and 30 cm orchid pots. POA
Many other flowering species suit bonsai. Here are few I occasionally have available for sale.